Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi talks land purchase, staffing and school vouchers

Photo by: Fargo Public School District
Photo by: Fargo Public School District

(Fargo, ND) -- The future of Fargo Public Schools is bright and growing, and that may be even more evident after our latest conversation with the district's leader.

Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi commented on several ups and downs of the current school year for FPS, including a recent deal struck between Sanford and Fargo Schools for land on the city's south side.

"We know that all of the public school districts here in the FM Metro are going to grow," said Dr. Gandhi while appearing on WDAY Midday. "So we're always looking at potential opportunities to purchase land or make moves to that we are not in a bind when that growth inevitably comes."

Dr. Gandhi did discuss the possibility of re-purposing or even building new elementary schools in the central and northern part of Fargo as well, that being due to older buildings and enrollment at some that may not warrant a full, normal K-5th grade program. No schools in particular have been discussed or were revealed during the conversation.

As for staffing, Dr. Gandhi says he feels that issue will be prevalent for the foreseeable future because the district is competing against more than just other schools in the area.

"When it comes to some of the positions in the district that are even outside just teaching positions, we're no longer just competing with other school districts but the private sector as well," noted Gandhi. "Whether its individuals that work in nutrition, in service, transportation, custodial or even maintenance operations."

Dr. Gandhi did however say one of the 'wins' for his district this school year has been seeing the teachers and staff inside Fargo Public Schools weather the storm of wearing more than one hat in many instances to cover for those openings.

Superintendent Gandhi also discussed the possibility of school voucher bills being discussed in Bismarck during the legislative session, and noted that his issue is not with the private schools in the area, but rather the resources that are being made available.

"Not because of the merit of those schools or others in the community, but rather using taxpayer dollars," said Gandhi. "That take away from public education resources just can't happen since we're already so under-resourced."

Dr. Gandhi did recently release a 'State of the Schools' address looking into the district's long-term plans and focus on the legislative session in more detail. Click here to view that presentation.

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2023